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Cabinet delays decision on restructuring hospitals

The government failed to make a decision on the restructuring of Hungary's hospital system at its meeting on Wednesday, government spokesperson Emese Danks said after the cabinet meeting.

The most important decisions had been made, however, some details are yet to be sorted out, Ms Danks said, adding that the government was committed to restructure the health system which cannot be financed in its present form. Health Minister Lajos Molnár told reporters later in the evening that the cabinet run out of time on Wednesday to discuss all the details and make a decision, and said he was confident that the bill on the proposed changes would be submitted to Parliament by Friday. The Health Ministry has proposed a drastic 9,000 cut in the number of hospital beds, to 71,000 nationwide according to press reports, parallel with designating 50 core hospitals of the current more than 160 such institutions to provide all type of services around the clock. Such a hospital must operate in every 50-kilometre-radius region, a general hospital must be available to patients in 30kms and an outpatient clinic should function within a 20km reach according to plans. (Mti-Eco)